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The 30% Club launches GCC Chapter

DUBAI, November 12, 2015

The 30% Club, a global business-led initiative for achieving better gender representation in senior leadership positions of organisations, has launched its regional chapter at an event in Dubai, UAE.

The 30% Club GCC Chapter is a volunteer effort by business leaders from across the Gulf region seeking better representation of women on boards and in senior level positions in the belief that gender balance on boards not only encourages better leadership and governance, but further contributes to improved board performance.

The 30% Club GCC chapter is led by a steering committee of prominent women and men representing some of the most successful businesses, institutions and advisory firms in the region.

“We are honoured to help launch this important initiative in the region,” said Raeda Al Sarayreh, on behalf of the 30% Club GCC Chapter steering committee. “We are working together to support the efforts of GCC governments and companies to increase women’s participation in the workforce and accelerate the pace of creating a pipeline of talented and capable women ready for senior positions across all sectors in the region.”

Formed in London in 2010, the 30% Club began its efforts in the UK campaigning for at least 30 per cent of women on FTSE 100 boards by 2015. There are 10 chapters across the world including the new GCC chapter. The initiative has since seen wide acceptance among key businesses across the world, with women in the UK now accounting for 26.1 per cent of FTSE 100 boards, up from 12.6 per cent in 2009.

Research shows that women are a key driving force for the GCC economic engine. However, while women constitute around 40 per cent of the GCC population and have a higher literacy rate than men, their participation in the workforce remains low, according to the Almasah Capital report – “GCC Women – Improving the Odds”.

The 30% Club GCC Chapter is seeking to empower women at different levels of the organisation and into leadership positions across a diverse set of institutions and industries.

The announcement was made during a special event hosted at the Capital Club at DIFC in Dubai, and featured a range of business and community leaders all united in the belief that better gender balance on boards is better for business.

The event was attended by prominent business leaders and members of GCC royalty, including Sheikha Hanadi Al Thani.

“The 30% Club GCC is designed to create meaningful sustainable change in culture and further change in the way companies hire, train, develop and retain talent,” said Sheikha Hanadi. “We believe that diversity in the board room and in senior roles is a competitive business tool. Business needs to become more representative of their staff, shareholders, clients and customers.”

Al Sarayreh added: “We strongly believe that businesses have a responsibility to drive change and are capable of making a notable difference. We aim to support women to realise their full potential through mentorship programmes, executive education offers, corporate governance best-practices and research.” – TradeArabia News Service




Tags: Women | gender gap |

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